Celebrating the Success and Expansion of the Clean Streets, Clean Starts Program
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 01, 2017 at 3:58 PM
This week in Council, I had the opportunity to honor an extraordinary group of people from my district for developing and expanding the “Clean Streets Clean Starts” Program.
This incredible program was initially piloted through my office in partnership with multiple agencies and groups in my district including the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, the Northridge Sparkle Campaign (now the Northridge Beautification Foundation), the Northridge South Neighborhood Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Public Works.
Starting last year, my office applied for a Clean Streets Challenge Grant with an idea from the community for a program that would recruit homeless volunteers, partner with local beautification entities, and provide job skills, mentorship, personal and professional development, and payment in the form of gift cards, meals, bus tokens, and job materials to folks who needed a second chance.
The program was an unbelievable success. Earlier this year, the Mayor awarded the Clean Streets Clean Starts Pilot Program partners the Game Changer Award. During the 8 week program participants received: training, supervision, mentorship, counseling, and positive intervention all the while working within a structured, positive program. Of the ten participants in the program, five achieved sobriety, all received housing, and all received job offers.
This program would not be possible were it not for employers such as Ralphs, Stay Green Landscaping, and Goodwill Industries which have provided job opportunities to people who have the biggest impediments to achieving full-time employment.
Since the first class, Clean Streets Clean Starts has expanded to other Council Districts and developed new partnerships to extend the reach of this incredible, life-changing program. The Northridge Beautification Foundation and the community have taken over this program in its entirety and just finished their fourth class this week. They've expanded to more Neighborhood Council areas and introduces new partnerships with the West Valley Alliance and added new curriculum including financial literacy classes.
I want to extend a special thanks to those who make this program possible including Wade Trimmer and Jim Brown of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, Andrea Alvarado, Don Larson, Linda Dunham, and Laura Rathbone of the Northridge Beautification Foundation, the Northridge South, West, and East Neighborhood Councils, and my Chief of Staff Nicole Bernson for supporting and coordinating this effort.
Through partnership, we will continue to expand this program and transform lives while improving the quality of life for neighborhoods throughout Council District 12 and beyond.
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